Last week, someone at the GCS Forum brought my attention to the FloraWeb feature at the NParks website. It’s a really cool database of flora that you can find in Singapore. I subsequently spent a bit of time squinting through the pictures in the database, and was delighted to be able to put proper names to several plants that we have either added ourselves or that simply took root at some time or other.
I’ve gone from saying, “yeah, that red, spiky-headed plant” to “Dracaena marginata, otherwise known as Rainbow Dracaena”; and “that plant with the clusters of purple flowers” to “Duranta dark purple”, and so on… It’s been quite enlightening.
The plant with the round green leaves and occasional spikes of white flowers also finally has a name to it – the Cardwell Lily (Proiphys amboinensis). It started growing under our old passionfruit bower about 30 years ago and we discovered that it made a pretty sight when potted. Since then, we’ve “domesticated” it and made it part of the family.
Then there are a number of other plants that we’ve bought, or adopted from other people or places, because we liked the look of them. I don’t know how many we’ve taken in, not knowing their names. Take for example what I’ve called our Easter lilies – I’ve just learned that they’re actually called Hippeastrums. Who knew? All we thought was, they looked pretty at a neighbour’s house, and they shared some plants with us.
Oh yes, and let’s not forget the flowers that only bloom in the mornings – I’ve just learned they’re called turnera subulata, otherwise known as the Sulphur Alder. Oh, and that it’s related to the yellow flower that I didn’t even notice it was identical to, save for the colour of the flower! That would be it’s cousin the Yellow Alder, or turnera ulmifolia.
My dad taught us that we should do things properly, so I’m going to take the camera around the garden to try to get pictures of everything, so I can identify them accurately. What can I say? Live and learn – it keeps life interesting!